In memoriam.

Quite a number of well-known personalities have passed on since the beginning of 2019. Three of them have etched a mark to my life as a fangirl.

In a shocking development, Razorback drummer Brian Velasco took his own life on January 16, 2019. I have fond memories of Brian way back my bandstalker days from 2001 to 2005. As a regular of gigs during that era, I’ve rubbed elbows with Brian and the rest of Razorback practically on a regular basis. I’ve shared beers with some of their members until the wee hours of the morning. Looking back, it was Razorback who first believed in my skills as a photographer. I was just a beginner back then, taking photos of not just The Dawn but any band that took the stage in the gigs and events I went to. Kevin of Razorback loved the idea of having someone documenting their gigs the way I did for The Dawn. It came to a point when he would text me their gig schedule just so I could come and document it for them through my photos. This is why I was able to amass a number of pics of Razorback and their side bands – and naturally, Brian – throughout my stint as a band stalker, some of which I immortalized on the internet through this post that I made in February 2006 specifically about Brian Velasco.

Brian and I were not particularly close, but that memory of him greeting me first at a party even if we were never formally introduced to each other is one of those things that will be etched in my mind and heart forever.

===

A couple of days ago, another legend of OPM passed on: the one and only, Joey “Pepe” Smith.

Being in the Pinoy rock scene for almost five years, you can say that I’ve had several up-close moments with Mr. Rakenrol, himself. I didn’t get to meet him personally – you can pretty much guess why – but being a Pinoy rock fan within close proximity of a legend several times is certainly one for the books. Just witnessing him perform in the flesh is more than enough.

I now regret not seeing that gig Pepe Smith had with The Dawn in late 2017 at a bar in Bulacan.

===

Today, we receive news that one of the best vocalists in the world, Mr. James Ingram, has succumbed to brain cancer. :sad:

I had a close encounter with Mr. Ingram way back in 1997 (if I remember correctly). I was assigned to a special audit engagement at one of the government offices in Mandaluyong area. To get home, I passed by SM Megamall every day. In one of those days, James Ingram had an autograph signing session at Megamall. I’m not exactly an avid fan but James Ingram is James Ingram, so I quickly bought a copy of his album The Power of Great Music (in cassette at the time) and lined up to get it signed. I did have it signed, but not before witnessing what happened to the person before me. The woman had the guts to extend her hand to Mr. Ingram for a handshake, but his security people were quick to grab her arm and wave her off. I heard them saying something along the likes of, “oh hell no, you can’t do that” and they were talking with James about these fans trying to one up them as if they can get away with it. In my mind I was thinking, “dude, we can understand English around here.” :neutral: Needless to say, when my turn came, I just handed him the tape to sign and walked out of there as fast as I could.

Yup, not a very good memory. But as I said, James Ingram is James Ingram. Not many people get that kind of up-close experience with an internationally renowned celebrity.

(Oh look at Agent P, not bitching and, instead, justifying an experience with a rude celebrity. What the heck just happened? :lol: I guess I’m just giving him a break, since he’s already passed on.)

Side note: Someone on Twitter said that at some point, all of us had an, “I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough” moment. For me and some of my Rain friends, it’s an “I did my VEST” moment. :hihihi: It’s quite funny reminiscing that at one point in our lives, we would listen to Just Once and think that it was James Ingram who was singing it all wrong. :lmao:

===

Rest in Peace, Brian, Sir Pepe and Mr. Ingram. Thank you for the music.

Facebooktwitter
rssinstagram

January 1.

Checking my Facebook Memories feed has become a daily habit for me. Today, January 1, brought back this gem:

:rotflmao:

I can laugh about it now, but I still clearly recall how floored I was, waking up with a deluge of messages from all channels bearing that same news and ending it with, “oh yeah, Happy New Year!” :lmao: I remember wishing it was April Fools instead.

My blog regarding that piece of news was even more hilarious. Talk about being delusional and constantly in denial. Seriously, was I that bad? Ew. :lol:

(Oh stop, Agent P. Your delulu-ness was the one that brought site traffic on your blog. Be grateful. :razz: )

In light of the latest New Year couple being EXO’s Kai and Blackpink’s Jennie, I wish your fanbases are handling it well. Been there, done that. You’ll survive, trust me.

Facebooktwitter
rssinstagram

Wishlist, 2019.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2018 was a very difficult year for me. It had its share of bright moments, but most of it were low points. I’m still battling my inner demons as I speak. But since we’re ushering in a new year, I will try to be optimistic for once and list down the things that I wish to do or accomplish in 2019.

1. Travel more.

I had the opportunity to rekindle my love for travelling in 2018 with my trip to Fukuoka and Hokkaido in Japan. It ignited that passion that I sort of neglected the past few years because I was busy with something else. In those precious five days in Japan, I felt alive and well again. For 2019, I’m placing at least two overseas trips on my bucket list. Japan is definitely on that list.

But to accomplish that list, I should…

2. Focus on work.

It has now become a policy at work that, unless it’s an emergency, we cannot go outside the country until we finish all the audit reports due in the first semester of the year. In my case, I’m not free to leave until August of this year, at the earliest. Therefore, to accomplish my travel goals, I should finish all 40+++ reports on time. Such task requires immense focus, which I lost a lot in 2018. (In my defense, I had a very difficult first semester in 2018 and family matters got in the way. Not that I’m making excuses…)

3. More opportunities to practice photography.

coupled with

4. Go back to active blogging.

Taking photos is my only contribution to any fandom I’ve been into, and now my opportunities to practice it are near-extinct. :sad: I think my skills are getting rusty, plus more and more talented photographers/photo-hobbyists have taken over the reins.

Proof that I lost my enthusiasm with taking photos: my Christmas bonus is still intact because I’m not keen on checking online stores for a new camera that will most probably just end up taking space on my closet. This is so NOT me.

As for writing, I simply am on an extended writer’s block. One minute I thought it’s back, but once I load my blog editor my mind comes out blank. Considering that I’ll have to renew my domain and webspace this year and I’ll be paying quite a sum for it, I should decide ASAP if I still want to continue blogging.

My heart seems unready to let Agent P’s Headquarters go, though.

I need to bring my mojo back. Maybe travelling will help? Or a change in environment?

5. Re-connect.

One of the things I gained before 2018 ended is that I was able to reconnect with old friends whom I kinda lost track of in the last three years or so. During the most difficult times of my life in 2018, they showed to me that they may not always be visible but they’re just there, waiting for me to reach out. It’s always nice to know that there are people in your life that always trust you and believe in you and will accept you no matter what, without expecting for anything in return.

I think I need to re-connect with me, as well.

I know this blog entry doesn’t sound as optimistic as it normally should, but hey. At least I know what I want, right?

I wish you all well this coming year.

Facebooktwitter
rssinstagram

Return to innocence.

I made a K-pop comeback last weekend and realized something:

I miss the innocence of being a fan.

You know those times when you’re just starting to be a fan of a certain artist that every little thing that happens bring you so much excitement and joy? When you’re not jaded about all the fandom politics and not paranoid of the people around you? When you have little to no expectations, thus, everything you experience is a pleasant surprise?

Yeah, it all happened last weekend. And I realized to myself how much I missed all that.

As we were roaming around Mall of Asia grounds to get to the concert, I witnessed all the fan projects and activities and saw how everyone gets so excited at just receiving a small photocard or whatever memorabilia they could get. At first I was like, “I used to do that in my first few years as a Cloud; when my room got so cluttered, save for original merchandise everything went to trash afterwards.” :hihihi: But before they ended up in the trash bin, they made me really happy. I could feel what the young Carats were feeling that day and had a pang of nostalgia.

When my niece received a simple gesture of recognition from a Seventeen member, she was so ecstatic that I literally felt her whole body shaking from euphoria. I remembered the time when a simple moment like the idol noticing our FC banner felt like we won the grand lotto.

Everything was so simple then.

I asked myself: When was the last time I felt the pure bliss of innocent fangirling? I couldn’t remember anymore.

And that’s just sad.

Facebooktwitter
rssinstagram

Not like it used to be.

Hi! I’m Agent P, and I’ve just been addicted to online TV.

Yes, I am slow. :lol:

It started when my local cable provider sucked big time. Coincidentally, Globe offered to upgrade by net connection at home and threw in this lovely contraption called an Android box which allowed my not-too-smart TV to connect to the internet via WiFi and let me install these lovely streaming apps and watch it on the big screen. Since then, I dropped my cable subscription and signed up for everything that’s available in my country: Netflix, iFlix, HOOQ, Fox+, with YouTube and Viki thrown in for good measure. Thanks to these apps, I was able to update myself with the latest on K-entertainment. I haven’t really plunged myself back to the world of K-dramas, though; too much commitment for that. :P But I have been watching a lot of Korean variety shows and music clips, so I’ve been a little bit abreast with the latest trends.

Nowadays, I’ve been literally hooked on HOOQ. True confession: the only reason why I signed up on HOOQ is because they have Alden’s drama series, Victor Magtanggol, on their line-up. :hihihi: However, I discovered that HOOQ has a vast collection of classic Filipino movies and TV shows as well as a good number of indie films. It’s the classic movies that had me deciding to continue my subscription after the free trial period expires. Finally, I can watch those movies any time I want instead of waiting for it to be aired on Cinema One or PBO. I have practically the entire roster of Regal Films movies from the 80’s on my playlist. :hihihi:

Which brings me to this anecdote. (Damn, I sound so random. :grin: Then again randomness has always been my blogging style, so whatever.) One of the first old Pinoy movies which I watched on HOOQ is Ten Little Indians, released in 1982 and starring William Martinez; Herbert Bautista (now Mayor of Quezon City) and his two siblings Hero and Harlene; and the WEA Twins. (How classic is that? :lol: )

I just remembered seeing it at a movie house when I was a little kid and remember crying buckets over it, so I checked it out.

I got the shock of my life.

The movie started out just like a typical Regal movie in the 80’s (although this one was actually released by Good Harvest Films, a subsidiary of Regal). William’s character was a mentally-challenged guy who has fantasies of being a cowboy who hates Indians (as in Native American Indians). At one point, while in his cowboy fantasies, he kidnapped a bunch of children and their teacher, because they wore costumes as the ten little Indians for a school program. That alone is reeking of political incorrectness.

And then it gets uglier.

While in the mountains, cowboy and Indians eventually developed affinity with one another until they chanced upon a group of gangsters. The gangsters beat up the cowboy; raped the teacher in front of the kids (!); verbally abused the female children through sexual innuendos; attempted to rape one of the girls because the gangster wasn’t satisfied with the teacher (!!!!!) (there’s even a cringe-worthy scene where they were asking the girls’ ages and found the 8-year-old ‘too young’ while the 10-year-old ‘pwede na‘ Oh God that was disturbing); shot and killed one of the boys point-blank, in front of the others; and two other boys got killed so that the rest of them can escape.

I was thinking: if this was shown today, it would definitely be slapped with an R-18 rating. That is, assuming it gets shown at all. I’m pretty sure it will generate a lot of disapproving buzz from netizens who always find something to complain about.

And then it hit me: I saw this film when I was a child. At a movie theater. I don’t even remember who I saw it with, but most probably my cousins who were also minors at the time.

I don’t remember finding it offensive at all. Or did I even understand what was going on then?

Times have really changed.

===

Speaking of things that have changed…

I saw these from my social media feeds today.

1. Mr Weatherman’s fanmeets now have mandatory group photo ops with the attendees;
2. One Filipina Shinhwa Changjo was recognized by some Shinhwa members at an event in Korea. As in the members know her by face and name;
3. Shin Hye Sung wore a Penshoppe hoodie, given by a Pinoy fan.

I wonder: if I didn’t give up on the Kpop scene, maybe someday I’ll finally get my moment with my Korean idol? In 20 years, maybe? Most of my fellow Clouds got it at the 13-year mark…

This last paragraph is random as hell. :lmao:

Facebooktwitter
rssinstagram